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Finding Aid for the Gennett Sound Recording Collection 1917-1930
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Collection Overview
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The collection consists of 78 rpm. sound recordings published by the Gennett Record Company.
Gennett is a record company and label. The company was owned by the Starr Piano Company of Richmond, Indiana, and was named after the latter's three most important managers, Harry, Fred, and Clarence Gennett. Issue began in 1917, with the first discs being vertically cut; these included three items by the pianist Earl Fuller. Laterally cut discs were released from mid-1919, among them a recording by the New Orleans Jazz Band. The company made its first forays into the race-record market with material by white bands, and issued a long series of discs recorded in 1921 by the Original Memphis Five (under the pseudonym Ladd's Black Aces) and a more important sequence made in 1922–3 by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings (as the Friars Society Orchestra). Sessions by a few vaudeville blues singers were organized, but extensive recording of race material did not begin until 1923, when King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton both recorded for the label. These tracks formed the start of a series of recordings now held to be classics. Gennett never had a designated race series: instead, from 1924, it printed the relevant labels with the legend "race record," and was the only company to adopt this policy. The discs were generally issued in batches as part of the general sequence, especially after December 1926, when the catalogue reached 6000; at this point the company started to produce electrically made recordings, the Electrobeams.
2,142 sound discs
Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Music Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Music Library does not hold the copyright.
The collection is open for research. Advance notification is required for use.